Chapter 8.09


8.09.010    Purpose.

8.09.020    Findings and declaration of public nuisance.

8.09.030    Definitions.

8.09.040    Regulated nonnative, invasive aquatic plants.

8.09.050    Restrictions.

8.09.060    Exemptions.

8.09.070    Enforcement.

8.09.080    Penalties.

8.09.010 Purpose.

The purpose of this chapter is to protect the aquatic resources of Lake County from the introduction of nonnative, invasive aquatic plants by prohibiting the possession, sale, propagation or release of specific species and declaring such plants as nuisances. As such, these nonnative, invasive aquatic plants are considered noxious weeds, as referenced in Government Code Section 25824. (Ord. 862 §1(part), 2007)

8.09.020 Findings and declaration of public nuisance.

The city council of the city of Lakeport finds that non-native, invasive aquatic plant species spread rapidly and eliminate the native flora and fauna biodiversity otherwise found in the lakes and streams of Lake County, most notably Clear Lake, with detrimental effects. Further, the city council declares that the most effective way to protect these aquatic areas from nonnative, invasive plant species is to prevent the introduction of these plants and also declares that such invasive plant species are public nuisances. (Ord. 862 §1(part), 2007)

8.09.030 Definitions.

For purposes of this chapter, the following words and phrases shall be interpreted as follows:

A.    "Aquatic plant" means any plant including a floating, emergent, submersed, or ditchbank species growing in, or closely associated with, an aquatic environment, and includes any part or seed of such plant.

B.    "Commissioner" means the agricultural commissioner for the county of Lake or his duly appointed agent(s).

C.    "Department" means the county of Lake department of agriculture.

D.    "Gift" means any aquatic plant that is freely given or bestowed from one person to another.

E.    "Nonnative, invasive aquatic plant" means aquatic plants that have been identified as being not native to Lake County and exhibit the characteristics of invasive growth pattern(s). For the purposes of this chapter, the following plants of concern are identified as nonnative, invasive aquatic plants:

1.    Hydrilla (Hydrilla verticillata);

2.    Spatter dock or yellow pondlily (Nuphar polysepala);

3.    Water hyacinth (Eichornia crassipes);

4.    Purple loosestrife (Lythrum salicaria);

5.    Giant salvinia (Salvinia molesta);

6.    Eurasian watermilfoil (Myriophyllum spicatum);

7.    South American spongeplant/frogbit (Limnobium laevigatum);

8.    Parrotfeather (Myriophyllum aquaticum);

9.    Brazilian waterweed (Egeria densa).

F.    "Person" means any person, firm, joint venture, joint stock company, corporation, partnership, association, club, company, business trust, organization, or the manager, lessee, agent, servant, officer or employee of any of them.

G.    "For sale" means the action of attempting to sell.

H.    "Sell" includes, in any of its variant forms, to offer for sale, keep for sale, expose for sale, barter, exchange, trade, rent, transfer of ownership or control, or lease.

I.    "Unviable" means incapable of sprouting, developing, growing, or reproducing; nonviable. (Ord. 862 §1(part), 2007)

8.09.040 Regulated nonnative, invasive aquatic plants.

The plant species set forth in Section 8.09.030(E) and any parts of those plants capable of propagation shall be considered the nonnative, invasive aquatic plants covered by the restrictions of this chapter. (Ord. 862 §1(part), 2007)

8.09.050 Restrictions.

A.    Except as provided in subsection D of this section, it shall be unlawful for any person to transport nonnative, invasive aquatic plants into the city of Lakeport.

B.     Except as provided in subsection D of this section, it shall be unlawful for any person to possess, release, sell or offer for sale, gift or plant nonnative, invasive aquatic plants in the city of Lakeport.

C.    It shall be unlawful for any shipment of nonnative, invasive aquatic plants to be off-loaded in the city of Lakeport.

D.    No provision of this chapter shall be deemed to place restrictions upon shipments of nonnative, invasive aquatic plants that are in transit through the city of Lakeport to a destination outside of the city of Lakeport. (Ord. 862 §1(part), 2007)

8.09.060 Exemptions.

A.    Any interested person may petition the commissioner, as provided below, to obtain an exemption from this chapter for a variety or cultivar of a listed nonnative, invasive aquatic plant that has been scientifically proven to be noninvasive.

B.    The interested person shall complete the appropriate form supplied by the commissioner’s office, entitled "Petition for Exemption." The petition will not be considered if any portion of the form is left blank or incomplete. If the commissioner needs additional information, the interested person will be notified within fifteen days of submission of the petition.

C.    After review of the petition and further research, as needed, the commissioner will make a determination as to the claim of nonviability. The petitioner will be notified of this decision no later than forty-five days after the initial submission date of the petition. If additional information is requested by the commissioner, then the decision will be rendered no more than thirty days after receipt of all requested information.

D.    A written copy of the commissioner’s decision will be provided to the petitioner upon its issuance. The decision will declare if the petition was accepted or rejected. In either case, the reasoning for the decision will also be given. If the decision requires the amendment of this chapter, the commissioner will implement the necessary actions to effect such change.

E.    The decision of the commissioner is final. If the petitioner feels that the decision rendered by the commissioner is incorrect, he or she may file a second petition, attaching to it any new data or information that was previously overlooked or otherwise unavailable for consideration. The time frames listed in subsections B and C of this section apply to this second petition. This second petition shall represent the final attempt to obtain an exemption from this chapter for the variety or cultivar listed. The procedure listed in subsection D of this section will also apply to a second petition. (Ord. 862 §1(part), 2007)

8.09.070 Enforcement.

The commissioner shall cause any nonnative, invasive aquatic plant or plants found in violation of this chapter to be placed under a hold order. Such an order will, among other things, prohibit any further movement of said plant(s) without the expressed consent of the commissioner. It will be the responsibility of the person named on the hold order to, at his or her own expense, either ship the said plant(s) out of the city of Lakeport within forty-eight hours or to destroy them. In either case, the commissioner will physically release the hold order to effect shipment or will be present and witness their destruction. The hold order will be considered released when the appropriate signature from the commissioner appears on the hold order. (Ord. 862 §1(part), 2007)

8.09.080 Penalties.

A violation of any provision of this chapter is punishable as an infraction by a fine not exceeding one hundred dollars; or as a misdemeanor by a fine of not more than five hundred dollars, or by imprisonment in the county jail for a period of not more than six months, or by both such fine and imprisonment. Each separate day or any portion thereof on which any violation occurs shall be deemed to constitute a separate offense punishable as herein provided. (Ord. 862 §1(part), 2007)